Lancaster Environment Centre Accessible Tour

Main entrance

The exterior of the LEC buildings. Ahead is a grey, modern-looking building with a sign saying Life Sciences and Environment Laboratories near the top of it. To the right of this building is the main entrance to LEC, a contemporary brick and glass building. A bike shed is located next to the entrance.

Created in 2007 when the departments of Geography, Environmental Science and Biological Sciences were brought together, Lancaster Environment Centre (LEC) is now one of the world’s largest centres for environment-focussed research, teaching and engagement.

Reception space

The reception of the LEC building, just beyond the glass door of the main entrance. There is a small seating area by the door, which leads into the atrium. The atrium is decorated with wooden furniture and exotic plants, and there are a variety of fossils and skeletons adorning the walls.

Glasshouse research facility

A small greenhouse filled with a range of different plants.

Researchers at Lancaster Environment Centre can utilise a suite of specialised glasshouses, controlled environment rooms and high-specification plant growth chambers to deliver a wide range of environmental conditions. The facilities support world-class research in a diversity of disciplines including ecological challenges, climate change, crop improvement and food security.


The centre of the atrium, with its wooden furniture and variety of exotic planters. An olive tree is visible against the back wall.

The Atrium is a communal space, open for use by staff and students across Lancaster Environment Centre and by staff from the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. Design features include the use of virtually VOC-free paint, 100% recyclable flooring, fabric coverings made from 100% recycled materials, and a high-tech ventilation system to maintain an even internal temperature all year round.

Entrance to teaching laboratories

An airy corridor leading out to the outdoor quad. Stairs lead the upper floors of the LEC building. An array of large banners stand at the foot of the stairs describing employment opportunities and providing information about the Lancaster Environment Centre Society.

Lancaster Environment Centre Society

The LEC Society banner. The banner features a globe, and asks students to “join us if you study Geography, Biology, Ecology, Environmental Science, Earth Science or Natural Science”.

A society for students across all degree programmes within Lancaster Environment Centre (LEC), the LEC society organises events throughout the year, including themed socials and quiz nights, guest speakers, educational workshops, a Christmas meal and a huge Summer Ball! Find out more at Facebook (@LECSociety) or Instagram (@lec_soc)

Growth chamber research facility

A small room with several large Micro Clima-Series High Spec Plant Growth Chambers. The door of the nearest chamber is open, revealing a brightly-lit interior with pots of small plants growing.

Researchers at Lancaster Environment Centre can utilise a suite of specialised glasshouses, controlled environment rooms and high-specification plant growth chambers to deliver a wide range of environmental conditions. The facilities support world-class research in a diversity of disciplines including ecological challenges, climate change, crop improvement and food security.

Teaching laboratory A

A large, well-lit lab, with a number of rows of high benches for conducting experiments on, each furnished with sinks and gas taps. On the nearest bench are a number of blue trays, each containing rock samples.

Home to practicals and dissertation project work across the degree programmes within Lancaster Environment Centre, our new teaching laboratories also include cold storerooms for sample preservation, a plant growth room, sample preparation rooms and multiple fume cupboards.

Teaching laboratory B

A large lab, with rows of high benches for conducting experiments on, each furnished with sinks and gas taps. Fume cupboards are visible on one of the walls. A number of microscopes are situated on a nearby bench.

Through collaboration between Lancaster Environment Centre and the Division of Biomedical and Life sciences, our Biology, Biochemistry, Biomedical, Ecology and Conservation and Zoology students have practicals and undertake project work in this new teaching laboratory.

Outdoor quad

A green lawn, nestled in the centre of the LEC buildings. There are a number of large trees growing on one side, and a couple of picnic benches for staff and students to sit on. Meteorological equipment can be seen near the trees.

A social space for staff and students across Lancaster Environment Centre, the Outdoor Quad is also sometimes home to teaching activities, such as making weather observations using the meteorological equipment visible in this image.

Indoor communal space

A spacious seating area full of colourful sofas, chairs, and benches. A banner about the Graduate School for the Environment is in the middle of the room.

Analytical research laboratory

A smaller lab containing various pieces of larger equipment, including an Isoprime Diluter and an Isoprime Duel-Inlet.

An example of our analytical laboratories which have a wide range of specialist instruments to support world-class environmental research across air, water, soil and sediment, as well as related to waste samples and biota. Undergraduate and master's students may work in these laboratories during their dissertation project or specialist modules.

Lecture theatre

A large, tiered lecture theatre with a mixture of red, orange, and grey seats. Large white boards and a projector are at the head of the room. A whale skeleton hangs overhead.

An example of a lecture theatre within Lancaster Environment Centre, with space for 200 participants. This is typical of the teaching spaces used for first year undergraduate lectures, before class sizes decrease during more specialist modules later in our degrees.

Entrance from Spine walkway

The Spine entrance to the LEC buildings. Next to the glass doors leading to the building is a sign saying Lancaster Environment Centre and Biomedical and Life Sciences. A mural of artwork is situated next to the sign. A large tree grows in the centre of the Spine.

The Spine is the main, kilometre-long walkway running through the centre of Lancaster University’s campus, connecting academic departments, student accommodation and campus facilities. Lancaster Environment Centre is accessed from the Spine near to Alexandra Square, a central hub at the heart of campus and home to shops, catering outlets and banks, as well as to Lancaster University’s Students’ Union (LUSU).

Outdoor communal space

A long, green area situated between more of the LEC buildings. Grey stone benches are dotted along the path. A variety of wild grasses grow in plots along the lawn.

Entrance to Enterprise and Business Partnerships

A small entranceway, with stairs leading to the upper floors of the building.

Our Enterprise and Business Partnerships team supports the development of strong links with employers through internships and collaborative projects, helping to boost graduate skills and enhance employability prospects. Lancaster Environment Centre is also home to the award-winning Centre for Global Eco-innovation, which brings together researchers and experts across disciplines and sectors to develop eco-innovative products, practices and services.

Seminar room

A room with two large desks with a number of white chairs seated around them. There are Smart Boards at either end of the room, accompanied by colourful posters with Centre for Global Eco-Innovation written on them.

The type of space used for research seminars or workshops within Lancaster Environment Centre, and for smaller group teaching in specialist second and third year undergraduate modules or in master's-level modules.

Meeting room

A small room with a table and seats organised around it. A large TV monitor can be seen at one end.

Example of a meeting room within Lancaster Environment Centre equipped with video conferencing capability. These spaces can also be used for small-group teaching activities during our degrees, such as student seminars or workshops.

Teaching team offices

A colourful, blue and purple corridor with a small seating area. The corridor leads to a variety of office doors.

A dedicated team of staff within Lancaster Environment Centre support the delivery of our undergraduate and master's degrees. This team is often a key point of contact for many of our students, helping to deal with questions about our degrees, the department and the university more widely.

Staff office

An office with a large wooden desk and round table. Pictures of various specimens under a microscope line the walls. A globe sits atop a filing cabinet, and a collection of coats hang next to the door on hooks.

All undergraduate students are assigned a dedicated member of staff in Lancaster Environment Centre as an academic tutor, who will meet with them regularly in this type of space throughout their time at university, providing support during the degree and when thinking about what comes next after Lancaster. This is just one part of the support we offer students in planning for life after university.

Hazelrigg field and meteorological station

A large green field on top of a hill outside of the Lancaster campus. Meteorological equipment and a large wind turbine are visible. Mountains and moorlands are visible in the distance.

A unique field and weather station located just one kilometre from the university campus. Daily weather observations made at the site continuously since 1966 help the Met Office validate weather forecasts and climate models. Students have the opportunity to visit the station as part of their degree or as a volunteer taking measurements that contribute to official Met Office records. Hazelrigg is one example of our research and teaching facilities at Lancaster Environment Centre.

Lancaster University Wind Turbine

Completed in 2012, the wind turbine is projected to produce 11-17% of Lancaster University’s annual electricity consumption. Find out more about low-carbon technologies and other sustainability commitments at Lancaster University.

Morecambe Bay and UNESCI World Heritage Lake District

Located close to Lancaster University’s campus are the spectacular environments of Morecambe Bay and the Lake District. In 2017, the Lake District became a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in recognition of the cultural importance of the landscape.

Forrest of Bowland and the Yorkshire Dales

On the doorstep of Lancaster University’s campus is the Forrest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and, beyond this, the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Together with Morecambe Bay and the Lake District, this creates a fantastic local environment in which to study one of the environment-focussed degrees within Lancaste